"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:4-7
Parent Seminar: Child Dedication Class
Unlike all of the milestones to follow, this milestone focuses almost completely on the parents' development. It is during this class that parents are introduced to the concept of milestones and the concept of being the primary spiritual influencer of their children. There is a focus on the big picture and the idea of the end in mind and how they as parents want to see their children end up being spiritually. They learn that God has called them, not the church, to impress Biblical truth upon the hearts and minds of their children.
Additionally, at this class the idea of blessing their child is discussed. The history of giving a blessing is reviewed and examples are given as to how to incorporate this into a family's routine. The idea of godparents is also discussed and families have the opportunity, if they desire, to consider asking a godly couple, who they believe did a good job raising their own children, to be godparents for their children. Specifically, godparents are seen as another voice speaking truth into the life of the child and holding the parents accountable in their faith journey.
*Note: This event is not solely for new parents with babies. This class can be for parents that are newer to the church or have recently made a faith decision and want to make a commitment to be the primary spiritual influencer of their children.
Church Event: Child Dedication Service
After parents have attended the Child Dedication class, they are able to participate in the Child Dedication Service which is offered several times a year. At this service parents make commitments to grow spiritually themselves, accept responsibility to be the primary spiritual influencer in the lives of their children, love their children unconditionally as Christ loves them, and to pray for their children to know Jesus Christ as Lord. Godparents and the congregation also make commitments during this service.
At this service parents are presented with a child dedication certificate and a faith chest with several resources and a blanket. This faith chest represents a commitment that the church is partnering with the parents to be another complimentary voice spurring the child on in their faith. The idea is that as the child goes through the various milestones that the chest will be filled with resources so that when the child starts their own family someday they will have a set of resources on hand to start the faith journey with their children.
Core Competency: God calls parents to be the primary spiritual influencer in the life of their child.